Huge UK telephone savings on the way

OK, so BT has Britain's telecoms industry by the wires, but a new trend is looking good for the British consumer...

Savings of up to 40 percent on telephone calls are on the way as banks, supermarkets, media companies and high street brands join the rush to become virtual telcos, according to a report by business carrier ACC Telecom.

Over the next six months ACC Telecom predicts a UK boom in virtual telcos as high street brands go head to head with BT attempting to bring cheaper calls to consumers. ACC Telecom says it has experienced a 60 percent rise in enquiries from potential virtual telcos in the last six months.

As reported Monday on ZDNet UK News, Supermarket chain Asda is currently offering customers 20 percent discounts on fixed line telephone calls.

The telecoms market will follow the boom in Internet service provision according to director of resale at ACC Telecom Rod Ritson. "Consumers are increasingly happy to buy services from their favourite brands. That's why we've seen Manchester United become an ISP and Tesco become a bank," he said. "The intelligent networking technology is available to enable the same thing to happen to voice services."

A BT spokesman denied the growth of virtual telcos would affect its business. "By and large we are holding our own. The prices Asda and others offer do not take account of discounts we offer but we are used to competition and welcome even more competition."